WOAP reader poll – which out of contract Bradford City players would you keep?

By Jason McKeown

Bradford City’s disappointing 2021/22 campaign is almost over, and it’s soon to be decision time for Mark Hughes over whether to keep or release players who will be out of contract.

On WOAP this week we will be recording our final podcast of the season – and debating the future of the 12 senior players on deals about to expire. To help us, we’d really appreciate if you could vote for which players you would offer a new deal to, and who you would release.

What follows are polls for the 12 players. Cast your vote for each player, and we’ll discuss the results during the podcast.

And finally

If you have a question for Tim Penfold or Alex Scott, please leave a comment below.

Categories: Opinion


31 replies

  1. I would have added a question about which players under contract would you like to pay off. Realistically, of the players currently at the club only 1 or 2 should be anywhere near the starting 11.

    • I hope City can find a new home for Threlkeld even though he is under contract.
      Angol’s injury woes mean that any deal has to be focused on appearances.

  2. Another poll?
    Who’s contract would you negotiate to cancel?

  3. Hi guys. topic to discuss. Why do you believe that Bradford City has become a graveyard for managers within the last 20 years (with the exception of Parky)?
    Why do you think that most have failed? And how can this stop being the case?

    • Hi Scott, we’ve gone through that many managers that I don’t think that it’s just down to one reason. I think certain managers were just the wrong fit for us, I think others weren’t given long enough to do the job, I think some didn’t want to be here other than for wage. Whilst Rahic was in charge I felt that they was too much interference. When a lot of the managers have arrived the players just haven’t been good enough either so there’s only so much any manager can do in that situation.
      I think the right manager needs to be given time and patience. To me it’s no coincidence that we had some of our best years in recent times whilst Parkinson was in charge who was given time to build. I do feel that it’s got to be the right person given that time though, for example in my opion Adams wasn’t the right person and we made the right call getting shut when we did.

      • Wyke I agree with a lot of your comments.
        However, the BCFC support is disproportionately out of kilter with reality when it comes to the quality and style of football they think they can expect to see from a fourth division football team.
        The support makes far too much negative noise, far too early in any of our recent managers tenure
        post Parky.
        As soon as the noise starts, the decision makers panic and worry about lost season ticket revenue
        from poor results and can the manager.
        We will never progress sensibly until the noisy commentators on social media and the like together with those in the stadium allow the manager the time he needs to start winning matches.
        Hopefully, Ryan Sparks fantastic coup in bringing in Mark Hughes will enable the manager to make plain to the support that he knows what to do but it will take some time and the support’s only job
        is to buy tickets and make all the noise they want to support the team.

  4. It’s an hard question to answer because with Mark Hughes contacts he might have new players lined up for every single position. Personally I’d like to see watt, vernham, foulds and Paudie stay but I also don’t think none of them are irreplaceable. I do think we’ve got much more chance of keeping any players we want to keep with mark now in charge.
    I do trust Mark Hughes to build a more talented, and better balanced squad for the next season. Im actually excited for the summer and next season

  5. Considering that we have about 11 players contracted to 2023 and beyond we can’t consider keeping very many if we want to improve the squad with new better players. Scunthorpe had during the game 8 lads 20 y/o or under and a 35 y/o on the field. We beat them yes , but convincingly, no. Defo a new decent keeper and Hornby to stay as number 2 or go as he pleases. Would try to keep Paudie, Walker, the lad on loan from Luton but the jury would be out on the rest for me. Fans keep asking for a 20 goal a season striker but doesn’t everyone else. Gold dust. Despite being our leading scorer Cook is a year older and for me well past his best so 2 strikers on the list for me. No, I ain’t a clue where there are gonna come from unless Sparky can conjure up some decent higher league loans. I don’t envy him the task when a lot of fans think we will be promoted by Christmas. Good luck M.H.

  6. Difficulty with the poll is that Mark Hughes needs to build a squad. It’s not just the first eleven. Therefore, salaries come in to the equation. Purely using Foulds as an example – he’s versatile so therefore a decent back up …… dependent on salary. Had the question been more specific eg “Would you retain to play in the first eleven?” I think some responses may have been different. For me, out of the entire squad (ignoring the fact that some are under contract) I’d be looking at Ridehalgh, Vernam, Watt and Angol as definites O’Connor as a 50/50. Regardless, an interesting poll.

  7. I’ve been pretty ruthless with my voting. I think only two or three would be offered deals in my Football Manager game, but then I’d know who I would be wanting to replace them with.
    My question is, there was much talk of data driven decision-making last summer. It’s not had the best of starts. Where do you think BCFC’s implementation of this approach failed or is failing?

  8. Teams that win promotion usually have two players who between them can score about 35 goals. If we have such players some of those we are considering getting rid of might actually suffice. I hope we can keep Walker. Having now seen his goal on video, it is even better than I thought. With his back to goal, he stops the ball to his right, feigns to switch it left, spins and shoots with his left, somehow planting it to the keeper’s left. Quite brilliant. It’s actually more important to keep him imo than to re-sign any of our current players. Personally, I’d try to keep Paudie, Watt and Vernam, among senior players, and Foulds, but would not be devastated to see them go.

  9. Why has BCFC’s recruitment not delivered results for the last 4 years? And what does a “very competitive budget” really mean?

    • It means we are competing with the mid table budget hoping for a manager miracle yet again. Only under SR could we get a manager like MH and not throw some proper money at it to get us out of this pit or a league. He is happy for BCFC to wipe its feet and that is him happy. Unfortunately he is 1 more manager failure away from us dropping down to a league that will never see us anywhere near wiping its feet financially then the abyss. The size of our fan base guarantees nothing whatsoever- look at the clubs in the league above and beyond that you realise this. Of course I’m all in with MH and believe like the rest of us it will all work out but…it could also end in tears big time..being a City fan for 35 years teaches you to look at both sides of the coin every time.

  10. I think Hornby should have been added to the list. He has made 9 appearances for the first team and had replaced O’Donnell as the first choice until the arrival of bass and his move to Colchester, where he has now become a bench warmer.

  11. The biggest concern is who is still under contract!
    Oscar get rid
    Hornby get rid
    Kellerher back up
    Cook get rid
    Ridehalgh happy with
    Staunton try and move on
    Cousin Dawson try and move on
    Gillead back up
    Eisa ?????? Can’t judge
    Skales try and move on
    Ten there that really don’t say promotion do they.

  12. With Hughes he should be able to get some decent ones in if they give him a few Bob plenty out there in sunday pub teams that give all and not just turn up for there wage

  13. Personally I would also try to move on

  14. Hi guys, long time listener first time commentator.
    My question is, are there any specific players you would like us to sign for next season?
    Personally, I would like to see Bahamboula at Valley parade!
    Keep up the good work.
    P.s, Would love more regular episodes next season! 😉👍

  15. Slightly concerning that as I write this the current results are that readers would want to keep seven of the 12 OOC players! Surely we need more of an overhaul than that? I suggest that we shouldn’t be keeping more than five of them and that we should also be looking to move on two or three of the players who are under contract for next year.

  16. As I wrote on Saturdays W,O,A,P.what happens now to the under 19s team? No where to go.No under 21s. Do they move on to other clubs under 21s?If the club is thinking big then they must start with an under a 21 team.What do you think?What a great sight it would be7 or 8 juniors playing in the first team.

    • You don’t see that at any club anywhere, only clubs to get close would the likes of Crewe and Exeter. And they are specifically set up to bring youngsters through as part of their ongoing business strategy. I’d be surprised if more than one or two of the U19 squad you mention actually make it, the averages in football mean you very rarely see more make it.

  17. Keep Vernam …That’s it

  18. I’d try to keep Paudie, Vernam, Watt and Foulds. Hendrie maybe as a backup. But we need to try and get rid of those Adams mistakes too – Threlkeld, Cook, Gilliead, Sicknote(Eisa), plus the wrongly extended Scales.

  19. In addition to the out of contract and the in contract players, which, if any, of the loan players should we keep? For me I’d offer Walker a deal and look to re-loan Pereira. I’m not sure about Bass and the other 3 are next to useless for various reasons.

    If we keep Hendrie and Foulds as back up then we’re only a first choice RB and another CB away from a good defence. The key for me is getting proven goal scorers into the building both upfront and in the midfield.

  20. Not particularly endeared by any of the names on the list. There is some talent there but look where we are in the table and when you consider last season’s final position as well its difficult to be that bothered about keeping or releasing any of them.
    I think its fair to argue that only O’Connor & Vernam have consistently shown the quality that they could be a part of a promotion winning team. The others could easily be part of a promotion winning squad but we need better in the starting XI. One things for sure, I’m confident in Hughes’ ability to improve the team and the squad.

  21. Both Hendrie and FCD are only good enough to be back up RBs so we shouldn’t keep both. We need a better first choice for that position.
    FCD is under contract so Hendrie should be released.

  22. Question for Tim and/or Alex:
    With the scale of the rebuild required ahead of next season, is it reasonable for us to hype up our promotion chances? What should be the messaging from the club regards expectations for next season?
    It would be interesting to look at percentage of squad turnover during pre-season for clubs that then went on to achieve promotion that season. I doubt that there will be many clubs with a squad turnover percentage as high as ours is anticipated to be, who then went on to seal promotion.

  23. I’d be happy to keep Angol but only on a pay as you play deal on current salary or on reduced terms. He’s shown enough when played to suggest can be useful over a season.

  24. Probably of more interest than who of the out-of-contract players we would like to stay are those that the management will actually want or feel able to keep. My guess at the latter is informed by many considerations mostly of a practical nature. I’m pretty certain we won’t gamble again on Angol staying fit. Hendrie will probably go because we already have in FCD a second choice right back. Cooke and Sutton have not been starting regularly which suggests they will go. Vernam will go to a better offer and we already have Eisa in his position to dissuade us from breaking the bank. Watt will without doubt be offered an extension so at least we can claim a fee for a player of his age. Paudie will be offered an upgrade for his fitness and enthusiasm and might well stay. I assume Foulds has done enough to get an offer. There’s not much doubt about the others out of contract leaving. Looking at it this way, it is conceivable none of them will be here next season – or very few. I’m assuming after a season like this, there can be no room for sentiment and if there is any cause for doubt Hughes will have to err on the side of freeing up places for new players. The retain list will tell us a lot about his plans for next season.

  25. If MH goes for a small squad, ie Quality over quantity then those players need to be capable of offering around 40.games in the new season.
    That means younger players with good availability, much better than some of the injury prone players we have seen this season.
    Elisa? Pereira? Angol?
    Also we will need players who have good disciplinary records to avoid costly suspensions.
    Paudie is a liability in this respect and so is Watt to an extent.
    Both give very costly free kicks away in key areas and generally have a mistake in them. Paudie is likely to be one of the high earners so we need to be certain of getting value for money from him.if we offer a deal which is aimed at tempting him to stay.

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